Please enjoy this Q&A profile with Jane Datta who joined our Flinders Foundation Board in 2019. We thank Jane for sharing these insights about her life and career trajectory so that our Flinders community can get to know her better and thank her for contributing to the future growth of our College.
What does your role involve as part of the Flinders Foundation?
I am the newest member of the Flinders Foundation, joining at the end of 2019 when the world was in a very different position to where we are now with COVID-19. The Foundation’s role has shifted from organising appeals and connecting our community through events to a focus on supporting the College community and providing financial contributions where needed to assist Flinders Families during these unprecedented times.
What do you enjoy about being involved in the Flinders Foundation?
I enjoy working with a team of people who are all focused on positive outcomes for the Flinders community, involving both the school and our families.
In your view, why is the Foundation important to Flinders’ future growth?
The Flinders Foundation has a focus on generating funds for the school to help build new facilities, upgrade the campus and assist Flinders families where needed.
Aside from being on the Flinders Foundation, what is your link to the College community?
My son, Jack, has been a part of the Flinders family since 2011. He began at FELC (Flinders Early Learning Centre) at age four years and is now in Year 7. We thoroughly enjoy all the positive aspects of Flinders and look forward to the journey over the next four years to Jack’s graduation.
What is your career role, and why are you passionate about your job?
Over the past 20 years, I have worked across National and State Sales Management roles for prestige cosmetic companies in Sydney and Brisbane. Retail is my passion and I started my first role at David Jones in 1988. I completed my cadetship with both David Jones and Myer and managed the cosmetic department of Sydney Myer before transitioning to work in the cosmetic companies themselves. I was the National Sales Manager for Shiseido and Elizabeth Arden in Sydney before moving to Queensland to take on the Christian Dior State Manager role. I am a people person, and understand what good service means to a customer and how that can translate into profitable results for the company.
What is your favourite book that you would recommend others read?
As an avid Kindle reader, it is hard to name just one! A few weeks ago I saw a segment on ‘The Project’ TV show introducing a book called “The Happiest Man on Earth”. I bought the book after the segment ended. The author, Eddie Jaku, is 100 years old and has lived in Australia since 1950. Eddie is a Holocaust survivor who experienced the unimaginable horrors of Auschwitz, however, after leaving Germany made a vow to smile every day. He tells his story of how he lived his life, endured through the War and used his strength to start a new life in Australia. He calls himself “the happiest man on earth” and, as you can imagine, it is an emotional read!
What do you enjoy about living on the Sunshine Coast?
What isn’t there to love about being here on the Sunshine Coast! We moved to the Coast from Sydney, however, we have never felt that we have moved to a small town. The Sunshine Coast immediately felt like home and we have made wonderful life-long friendships here.
What are some of your favourite spots to visit on the Sunshine Coast?
Noosa is our favourite spot on the Sunshine Coast as I have been visiting its beaches since 1978. Back then, there was only a caravan park and the local store on Hastings Street where you bought your coloured sand bottles. It has changed so much since, however, it still has ‘the magic’, whether it is the beach, restaurants or the walk along the National Park Headlands.
What did you love about your schooling years?
My family moved a lot during my schooling years as my father’s job involved work interstate and overseas. This uncertainty taught me how to adapt to change. A highlight was living in Tokyo where I completed Years 9 and 10 at an international girls school. I met students and teachers from all over the world and experienced living everyday life in the middle of a very large city. I enjoyed two years of intensive Japanese language classes and was able to make some lovely Japanese friends.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Do what you love! Have passion, focus and interest in what you do, and you will succeed.
And MOST importantly: Cherish your family and friends.